In our family, we are big on tradition. We have the same plans every single year for Christmas and for Thanksgiving we still go to Apple Hill, as my husband and his entire family have done every year since before he can remember. It may seem repetitive to many but to us, it's tradition. And we love our traditions.
Weddings are the same way. There are so many wedding traditions and preparations leading up to it, that have been carried for generations. And in reality, we really don't know why they are there or if they are necessary.
The engagement party, the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, not seeing each other before the ceremony, keeping the dress hidden from him, wearing a wedding band and an engagement ring, having your daddy walk you down the aisle, the grand entrance, bouquet toss, garter removal, cake cutting...I could keep on going but I think you get the point.
Since when does a wedding have to include a cocktail hour? And since when do you have to do a Father-Daughter dance? Since forever!
...is what many brides think.
But I am here to tell you that you don't have to follow these traditions.
Traditions are wonderful and there are so any that are special to each and every one of us. And while we may love some, there are others that many brides and grooms cannot stand (ahem...the garter toss.)
Personally, I love how traditional weddings are. But when a bride's family is required to sit on the same side as she is standing and must face her back, unable to see her face during the entire ceremony, I am a big fan of switching things up and having her family sit on the opposite side, so they can see her reactions and her beautiful glowing face.
There is a fine line between keeping traditions and starting your own. If you love it, then keep it. And if you don't, then don't feel bad about tossing it right out the door. Because it's YOUR day and switching it up the way you want it and the way that makes you feel most comfortable, is what makes weddings so special. Because they are all unique and individual and I love that!
"Just remember that guests expect a reasonable amount of structure and direction when attending a wedding. If there is none then it can end up feeling choppy and off-putting. For instance, free flowing dinner stations are cool but you still must make sure there is enough seating for everyone..." (#TheBrideList vendor Hey Mister DJ) Yes, we want to keep your guests happy too!
Keep those traditions you love, toss the rest, and keep your heart and the happiness of your guests at the core of planning.
Wedding traditions are fun but they just aren't for everyone. From the rings to the vows to dancing the night away, there is a particular "Itinerary of Events" that every couple is expected to follow on their wedding day. But I am here to tell you, that there are some traditions that can totally be thrown out.
Choose what you like and toss what you don't!
1. The Wedding Cake
A tiered cake is one of the symbols of a wedding. But I've come to learn, that not that many people really love cake. Never have I ever seen an entire cake eaten at a wedding and to make matters worse, brides and grooms often tell me that they are not fans of cake either. So the hours and hours of hard work are (literally) tossed down the drain.
So why not come up with something fun that you and your guests will all actually enjoy! Find some of our favorite wedding cake alternatives here!
2. Wedding Favors
Just like the cake, the wedding favors are left there on the table at the end of the night. So if you don't have the budget for them or you can't think of something that your guests will actually want to take home, then what's the use?
I mean, you have provided them a night of delicious dinner and dancing. So that's enough in my eyes!
3. Menu Cards
There are four possible options when it comes to the meal on your wedding day:
1. Your guests have told you what their meal choice is via your RSVP cards.
2. You are having a buffet so guests get to choose what they want that evening.
3. Your meal is being served family-style so everyone gets everything.
4. You have a plated meal but everyone is getting the same thing!
I can't seem to find one single reason why someone would need a menu. Wasted money anyone?
4. Daddy walking you down the aisle
Not everyone has a dad who is living, a dad who is part of their lives, or a dad who is an influential person to her. So why would you have someone "give you away" to your new husband who you don't love, cherish, and look up to? If that person isn't your biological dad, then throw that tradition right out the window and choose someone else. Or just walk by yourself!
5. The Wedding Party
You don't have to have a Best Man and you don't have to have a Maid of Honor. You don't have to have a flower girl and you don't have to have a ring bearer. In fact, you aren't required to have a wedding party at all!
Yes, it's fun but it does cost money. And there could be stress and jealousy and plenty of other factors that get in the way of that fun!
Two words: color palette.
Your bridesmaids dresses don't have to match (because we all look good in different styles), your flowers don't have to perfectly match the bows on the chairs, and your tablecloths don't have to match your ceremony chairs.
Choose a color palette rather than a color. Because in my eyes, those different shades really bring a wedding to life!
7. The First Look
Long goes the tradition where the groom sees the bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle. While this was something that was very important to myself and my husband (we did first touch photos instead), there are a million reasons why a first look has its advantages:
- Raw emotions are captured (aka he may not cry with all of those eyes on him at the ceremony)
- You get to spend some quality time alone.
- You get to take all of your photos BEFORE the wedding so you can enjoy the rest!
- Cocktail hour anyone? If you are excited about those appetizers, then choose a first look!
8. Reception Traditions
The first dance, garter toss, bouquet toss, mother-son dance, father-daughter dance...and the list goes on. These are all "activities" that you would expect to see at a wedding but if any make you feel uncomfortable (ahemm...garter removal), they ix-nay them right away!